On August 7, 2022, my first-born son, Lane, married Pam in a lovely ceremony officiated by my husband. Here are the words we, as his parents, spoke over them.
Public insults. Conflict. Persecution. Prison. Confiscated Property. The readers of the the New Testament letter of Hebrews experienced all this in the early days of their walk with Jesus. While I cannot attest to this kind of suffering, I do know trial—wrecked car, bureaucracy headaches, ant infestation, health issues, the passing of loved ones. Like the early Christians, I too need the author’s counsel on facing trying times.
I feel like I've done a bunch of things wrong lately. I feel like I’ve done something morally wrong. Like I’m a criminal, or a bad person. Like I’ve been caught with my hand in the cookie jar when I never actually put it in. Or accidentally put it in. The fact is I’m a rule follower and I don’t like looking bad.
Some argue it’s easy to love God when life is comfortable. But I propose that it’s actually harder to stay close to and rely on him during these times. How do I nurture our relationship when life is fine, ordinary, and boring? What about when there isn’t a crisis, a hurt, or a longing to take to him?
“Getting rid of stuff makes me feel lighter,” my daughter-in-law said. Without thinking, I responded, “I don’t believe I’ll have the means to replace something if I let it go so I keep it just in case I might need it.” Even as the words were out of my mouth, my heart knew the truth. I still operate out of a scarcity mindset.
I received my Covid-19 vaccines with mixed emotions. Grateful for some form of protection while aware that absolute immunity is not guaranteed. Concerned about the possibility that I subjected myself to unnecessary risk, yet heartened by the prospect of mitigating it.
The desire to figure everything out, to fully understand, and make sense of my world is strong in me. However the events in our nation's capitol last week proved that even more fleeting than the loss of control over my schedule and calendar (due to a pandemic) is any control I thought I had over the beliefs and actions of others. Four guiding truths emerged as I pondered a quote from Emily P. Freeman.
I am an aunt to some lovely young women and men. I have cultivated individual relationships with them and enjoy my unique role in their lives. Being their aunt gives me a certain advantage over their mothers.